Monday, April 28, 2008

Cole seeks to nationalize election
with Sen. Obama, Speaker Pelosi
By Aaron Blake from THE HILL
All politics is officially no longer local at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).NRCC Chairman Tom Cole signaled Monday that he is set to nationalize the 2008 battle for the House by tagging the “liberal” label on Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Cole’s predecessor, Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), insisted amid a tough national environment for the GOP that House races are all unique to their locales. Just two years later, though, Cole (Okla.) is ready to flip that strategy on its head and emulate what Democrats used to great effect in 2006.Obama’s and Pelosi’s negatives aren’t as high nationwide as the Democrats’ chief villain figure, President Bush, but Cole said the strategy can work for two reasons: because much of the battleground is GOP-leaning territory, and because Pelosi’s and Obama’s numbers get worse as her name ID climbs and his nomination battle drags on.

“Our candidates are trying to turn those things into, now, referendums on Pelosi and on Obama,” Cole said. Despite enjoying wide support early and wooing independents, Obama was recently rated the most liberal member of the Senate by the National Journal and has endured some of his toughest weeks on the campaign trail this month.

According to internal NRCC numbers obtained by The Hill, Obama has a 32 percent favorable and 58 percent unfavorable rating in Mississippi’s 1st district, where Republicans nearly lost a special election last week to a Democratic takeover. The race will go to a runoff May 13.
His numbers were better but similar, 37-50, in Louisiana’s 6th district, where a special will be held Saturday.

Pelosi’s numbers in those two districts were 18-39 and 24-47, respectively. “We like the way that’s unfolding,” Cole said. “We would rather be running national elections.”
The GOP candidate in Mississippi, Greg Davis, launched a hard-hitting television ad over the weekend that features the controversial comments of Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It criticizes Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers (D) for not condemning them or Obama’s remarks that people in Pennsylvania were “bitter” and clung to guns and religion.

The NRCC and the conservative group Freedom’s Watch are also using ads to attach the Democrat in the Louisiana race, state Rep. Don Cazayoux, to Obama and his healthcare plan.
The state GOP in North Carolina is also using the Obama-Wright relationship in an ad against two top Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

Both House districts are very competitive, despite voting at least 59 percent for Bush in 2004, and feature Democrats who oppose abortion rights. Obama’s campaign has sent a letter to volunteers pleading for help with Childers’s campaign, while Cazayoux’s campaign emphasized after the NRCC and Freedom’s Watch ads were launched that he hasn’t endorsed any candidate or healthcare proposal.

About 60 districts currently held by Democrats voted for Bush, while less than 10 GOP-held districts voted for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). So the terrain will be similar in many other races targeted by Republicans.Cole attributed the close Mississippi race to the geographic strengths of the candidates and a bruising GOP primary, and the tight Louisiana contest to wounds from GOP candidate Woody Jenkins’s past campaigns.

National GOPers have privately grumbled over what they see as a weak candidate in the Pelican State. Cole was careful with his words, but he likened the situation to March’s special election in Illinois, where former Senate and gubernatorial candidate Jim Oberweis lost and was later decried for the baggage he inherited from three failed statewide bids.

“Woody Jenkins has been around a long time,” Cole said. “It’s the same thing we had, to some degree, with Oberweis. You get some scar tissue if you’re in politics and you make tough calls and tough decisions.” Despite all these local factors, Cole said that, as the general election approaches, voters will start to become more aware of the national picture and what voting for Democrats entails.

The shift comes about 15 months after Cole expressed skepticism about the anti-Pelosi strategy’s effectiveness in the 2006 elections, during which it was employed in isolated instances. “Sure worked, didn’t it?” he said at the time. “We were trying everything. ‘All politics is local, except if Pelosi wins it’ll be terrible.’ … We were just in a fix.”

Democrats pointed out that Republicans tried, to some extent, to make Pelosi an issue in the Illinois special election, and that now-Rep. Bill Foster (D) used a TV ad recorded by Obama for his campaign.Even though it is Obama’s home state, they stress, it is a conservative district.
A spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Doug Thornell, said the NRCC is trying to make up for poor recruiting and a lack of credibility with voters.

“Even former NRCC Chair Tom Davis (R-Va.) said, the ‘House Republican brand is so bad right now that if it were a dog food, they’d take it off the shelf.’ ” Thornell said. “So if Cole wants to hitch his wagon to George Bush and the national GOP brand, it wouldn’t be the first strategic error he’s made this cycle.”
Weekly Opinion/Editorial
Profiles 2006 an interesting read!
by Steve Fair

The Education Oversight Board- Office of Accountability- published a report on Oklahoma education that was released in July 2007. The report is entitled Profiles 2006. Profiles contain a detailed report on all 540 school districts in Oklahoma, comparing their demographics and performance against the state average. The report is available online at and is available in hard copy at your local library. Some of the more interesting statistics in the report reveal some disturbing trends in public education in Oklahoma. Here are some highlights of Profiles 2006:

(1) The educational attainment of the state's population over age 25 in the year 2000 was as follows: College degree- 26%, High School Diploma/Some College- 55%, Less than a High School Diploma- 19%. Oklahoma lags behind the rest of the country in educational attainment. While 84% of the total US population completes high school, only 81% get their high school diploma in Oklahoma. The drop out rate in Oklahoma is higher than the national average and the highest in our region.
(2)The Oklahoma college completion rate for college students who graduated from an Oklahoma public high school is 42.7%. The dilemma for Oklahoma graduates completing college is having a job in Oklahoma when they graduate. Employers are not flocking to Oklahoma to build plants and facilities. Oklahoma has unfair tort and workers comp systems. Businesses are looking to states with a business atmosphere friendlier than Oklahoma’s. College graduates follow companies to those states. When you consider that 50% of Oklahoma college graduates are not living in the state five years after they graduate, it means we are exporting our best and brightest.
(3) The average population of an Oklahoma school district is 6.390 people. 45% of all the school districts in Oklahoma have less than that number in their district. That means half the schools in Oklahoma are “small” schools. There is nothing wrong with small schools, but keep in mind it costs money to maintain and operate a school system- small or large. Buses must run and they run on gas or diesel, which are at all time high prices. Buildings must be heated and cooled, not to mention maintained. The price for the infrastructure itself is mind-boggling. Oklahoma has an average of seven school districts per county. We have more school districts than Texas and Florida- both states much larger geographically and have more population than we do.
No legislator or elected official wants to talk about school consolidation, but it must be an option if we are to progress as a state. We cannot expect to compete in a global market operating 540 school districts for 625,000 students. Some states have blue ribbon commissions that evaluate their school districts and recommend consolidation periodically. Oklahoma has been unwilling to do that because most people don’t want their small school to close, but as Bob Dylan sang, “the times, they are a changing.”
(4) In 2005-06, there were 3,418 administrators in the 540 districts statewide. That is an average of 6.3 administrators per district. On average, each administrator supervised 12.2 teachers in the 2005-06 year. The average experience that each administrator possessed was 22 years. The average administrator earned $65,000- about 43% more than the average classroom teacher in Oklahoma who earned $37,103.

In the past, several forward thinking legislators- all Republicans- have proposed school districts “share” administration. This would allow smaller districts to “share a superintendent or principal instead of bearing the entire expense of a full time administrator. There was no mandating of “sharing.” It was totally voluntary and gave the option to the school districts. That seems like a reasonable solution to district funding shortfalls and to increase efficiency in education. Sharing administration would seem to be a viable alternative to the dreaded possibility of consolidation, but every time the bill came up, it’s was batted down by the education lobby.
Oklahoma has over 625,000 students being taught by 38,505 classroom teachers in 540 districts. These numbers look eerily similar to the way they did in 1960. Public education hasn’t changed much in the past half century in Oklahoma., but the world has. Oklahoma cannot continue to think, act and operate the public school systems like it did fifty years ago and expect to compete globally. Some hard decisions have to be made- at the least administrative sharing must be revisited and perhaps the “C” word will have to be spoken publicly before education can move forward in Oklahoma.

Profiles 2006 reveal some statistics that should be of great concern to all Oklahomans- particularly those with children in the public school system. I would urge you to read the entire report, particularly the report on your local district.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

by Steve Fair
The Office of Accountability published a report on Oklahoma education 18 months ago called Profiles 2006. This report is available at your local library. It provides a detailed report on all 540 school districts in the state. It compares the demographics and performance of each district against the state average.
Some interesting stats that Oklahoma citizens should know are listed below:
  • The educational attainment of the state's population over age 25 in the year 2000 was as follows: College degree- 26%, High School Diploma/Some College- 55%, Less than a High School Diploma- 19%.
  • The Oklahoma college completion rate for college students who graduated from an Oklahoma public high school is 42.7%.
  • The average population of an Oklahoma school district is 6.390.
  • In 2000, public school enrollment in Oklahoma by race was: 59%- Caucasian, 2%- Asian, 9%-Hispanic, 11%- African American, 19%-Native American.
  • In the 2005-06 school year, 55.5% of all students in Oklahoma public schools qualified for the reduced price lunch program. Eligibility has increased over 10% in the past ten years in the Sooner state.
  • 13% of all students in the state qualify for the gifted/talented program. This has not increased over the past decade.
  • 15% of all Oklahoma students qualify to Special Education Programs- up from 12% in past 10 years.
  • 27% of regular classroom teachers in Oklahoma hold advanced degrees- down in the past 20 years by 14%
  • "Like classroom teachers, administrators is another key ingredient of education." "The 2005-2006 school year saw a 4% increase in the number of administrators from the previous year." In 2005-06, there were 3,418 administers in the 540 districts statewide. That is an average of 6.3 administers per district. On average, each administer supervised 12.2 teachers in the 2005-06 year. The average experience that each possessed was 22 years.
  • The State Funding Formula for Education uses several factors including- WEIGHTED AVERAGE DAILY MEMBERSHIP. WADM takes into account the factors of students and teachers. In WADM, students and teachers are given values based on experience, education, age, grade, mental and physical condition.
  • The funding formula includes three types of state aid- Foundation Aid which is reduced by the amount available locally. Transportation Aid uses a per capita formula on how many students are being hauled. Teacher Salary Incentive is an incentive amount multiplied by the WADM and adjust by local district factors and then multiplied by 20 mils.
  • The 38,505 classroom teachers in Oklahoma average salary in 2005-06 was $37,103. The average teacher has 16.8 students per class.
  • There were a total of 625,030 students in Oklahoma public schools in 2005-06.
  • Oklahoma spends $6,520 per student annually on public education. The national average is $8,600.

Before you panic, please understand Oklahoma's per capita income is about 75-80% of the national average, so Oklahoma is funding education at a rate consistent with our per capita income. The problem is we have too many districts and too many administrators. When we have an average of seven(7) districts per county, consolidation is something we have to thinking about. Infrastructure and administration sharing should be a no-brainer, but the powerful education lobby will not hear of something so practical, logical and forward thinking. I would encourage you to find Profiles 2006 and study this report. While not openly critical of Oklahoma's public education system, the report does point out glaring gaps that Oklahoma taxpayers have to address.

Thompson: I would turn down VP offer
By Bob Cusack from

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) said he would not accept an offer from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to be his running mate. During an interview on "Hannity and Colmes" that aired Thursday, the 2008 presidential primary candidate said he is not interested in being on the GOP ticket. "That's not in the cards," Thompson said. "That's not what I want. Well...and I don't think that call [from McCain] would ever happen. I think John needs somebody else. I would advise him if he asked me that he needs someone else, of a different profile. The presidency is the only job in town that's worth going through what you got to go through to get it, including the vice presidency...."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Best in the business: Hired Guns
By The Hill Staff
After Democrats took control of Congress, they took control of K Street. Often junior partners during the years of Republican rule, Democratic lobbyists became the faces of their firms in 2007. Even as Democratic congressional leaders sought to break the bond between lobbyists and lawmakers, some advocates took the plunge and opened new shops. By year’s end, several had built books of business worth millions of dollars.

The Hill’s annual list of top lobbyists reflects the greater importance Democratic lobbyists play, while not forgetting the Republicans in town who maintain a major role in crafting legislation, particularly in the Senate, where voting margins are so close. Today’s list names the best “hired guns” and corporate lobbyists. To compile our list, we talked to key congressional aides and lobbyists themselves. J.C. Watts is on the list- see the entire list at:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

McMahan should not be getting paid!
by Steve Fair
In an article in Sunday’s The Oklahoman, Steve Phipps- aka Big Daddy admitted he committed three felony crimes on October 22, 2002. The three crimes involved the scheme he and former State Senator Gene Stipe, Stipes brother Francis, and three former state legislators hatched up to get taxpayer dollars funneled to Phipps and Stipes dog food plant in McAlester. It also involved funneling money to a statewide candidate for State Auditor. Steve Phipps has cut a deal with prosecutors and has agreed to plead guilty to one conspiracy charge in exchange for his testimony, which has pointed the finger at the Stipes as the masterminds behind this multi-pronged scheme.

That fateful day in October 2002 started with Phipps paying former State Representative Mike Mass, the Chairman of the House appropriation and budget committee a bribe. Both Mass and Phipps have testified the bribe was $48,000 in return for getting state tax dollars funneled to the dog food plant. Phipps testified the bribe was paid in Stipes office after they had closed on the property. But the day was still young and Phipps had other “business” to conduct.

Phipps then testified he wrote a check to Stipe’s brother, Gene, for $3,000 out of Phipp’s abstract company. Stipe in turn wrote a check to the Jeff McMahan campaign for $3,500. Stipe admits making the donation, but said he wasn’t reimbursed. An endorsed canceled check was presented at the trial as evidence, but Stipe says it’s not his signature. This was straw donation. Straw donations, which is where a person donates to a campaign, but are reimbursed for the donation. They are illegal under federal law and a clear violation of state ethics rules. According to an FBI affidavit presented when McMahan was indicted, he received over $80,000 in straw donations in the 2002 race- all from Phipps and Stipe. Two down and one more to go before the day ends.

Phipps says he then drove to Shawnee where he met the McMahans in a restaurant. After Jeff left the table, Phipps says he gave Lori McMahan $10,000 in cash. At the time, McMahan was locked in a close race with current State GOP Chairman Gary Jones for State Auditor. The seat had been vacated by McMahan’s mentor Clifton Scott. Scott endorsed his protégé and campaigned for him, citing McMahan’s integrity and ethics, as the reasons Jeff should be his successor. According to Phipps, the money was used by McMahan to buy radio spots for the final media push in the 2002 race.

In November 2002, Gary Jones lost the Auditors race to McMahan by less than a percentage point. It was the closest statewide race that year- even closer than the Henry- Largent race. It’s crystal clear McMahan, Phipps, Stipe, Mass and the others stole the race by using straw donors and dirty tactics to exceed the legal limits on campaign contributions in a race that is arguably the most important in state government- the watchdog of our tax dollars.

Jeff McMahan and his wife were indicted in December and face charges of corruption and racketeering in connection with their taking of illegal campaign contributions and bribes. The Auditors office had oversight and regulatory control over the abstracting business until last year. It is alleged that McMahan took the straw donations in exchange for extending favorable treatment to abstractors. He also allegedly agreed to not audit the tax dollars that were allocated for the dog food plant.

After Jeff McMahan was indicted in December, he placed himself on “paid” adminstrative leave until his hearing in July. For over four months, Oklahoma taxpayers have been paying Jeff to stay home. State Representative Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, asked Attorney General Drew Edmondson about this seemingly wrong action. The AG ruled that McMahan did the right thing to stay home- at taxpayer’s expense.

Either the law is wrong and should be changed or the lawyer is wrong and should be changed, but there is nothing right about an indicted official drawing a paycheck and not working. That wouldn’t fly in the private sector, nor should it in the public.

The Speaker has appointed a bi-partisan committee of legislators charged with checking out the disturbing allegations against McMahan and begin proceedings to remove him from office if the evidence warrants it. This committee is made up of legislators who are being paid by the taxpayers to conduct their hearings.

Oklahoma taxpayers funded a non-existent dog food plant in McAlester. Oklahoma taxpayers are paying a statewide elected official full salary to stay home and watch Oprah. Oklahoma taxpayers are paying legislators to investigate McMahan. This is just wrong- no matter what your party affiliation. At the very least- McMahan should not be getting paid to sit home. Contact your State Representative and State Senator and express your outrage.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Need a bass player!
Governor Huckabee should run for Senate against Pryor
2nd Admendment Band!
Lawmakers weighed retirement with rock band membership The congressional band the Second Amendments, composed of Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.), Dave Weldon (R-Fla.), Jon Porter (R-Nev.) and Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), will soon change.
With the retirements of Hulshof and Weldon, the band needs new blood. The new band, confirmed Peterson, will include Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho) on drums and Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), co-founder of the 1970s band Orleans, on vocals or keyboards. Both Sali and Hall have already begun practicing with the group.

Peterson said Hulshof and Weldon seriously weighed their retirements because of their membership in the band. “Frankly, one of the main things they had to consider was the band,” he said. “I don’t know how much, but it was a consideration.”
“He absolutely did,” said Hulshof spokesman Erik Rasmussen. “Kenny has established a great friendship with the members of the band. It’ll be a lifelong friendship. He’ll miss them terribly.”
“Obviously, I think he was joking,” said Weldon spokesman Jeremy Steffens of Peterson’s remarks.

“[Weldon] enjoys playing in the band, but I don’t think he’d stay in Congress just to stay in the band. He’s leaving because he wants to go spend time with his family and return to his medical practice. I’m not sure [the band] is why he has stayed in Congress the last seven terms.”
Band members are contemplating calling themselves the Fifth Amendments. “The Second Amendments are going to take the Fifth,” Peterson joked.
But on a serious note, change isn’t easy. “There is some nostalgia that the band is going to change because we bonded in Iraq,” he said, referring to the group’s musical missions.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

by Steve Fair
I've always said that Lt. Governor Jari Askins is a gracious lady. She is friendly, cordial and always makes a point to speak when she sees me, but she's still a Dem. Yesterday she proved it. In November 2006, Oklahoma voters gave control of the State Senate to the Republicans, but because Senator Nancy "Crylee" Riley of Tulsa switched parties after her election, Democrats and Republicans have the same number of Senators (24 each). The two parties have operated the past two sessions under a power-sharing agreement that has worked amazingly well. But based on past voting trends, it's very likely Republicans will take control of the State Senate for the first time in state history in November and it will not be soon enough. Case in point:

The Lt. Governor presides over the Oklahoma State Senate and casts a vote if the Senate is tied. Lt. Governor Jari Askins has only cast a couple of votes to break ties, always siding with her fellow Democrats. While it's not surprising that Askins toes the party line, it should be of great concern to the average Oklahoman. The vote Askins cast a vote killed an amendment by Senate Judiciary Committee Co-Chairman Jim Williamson- R, Tulsa that would have required Senate confirmation of gubernatorial appointments to the Workers Compensation Court. Currently the workers comp court is stacked with anti-business, pro-trial lawyer judges who are cronies and fishing buddies of Governor Brad Henry. that's one of the reasons Oklahoma's worker comp system is one of the most costly in the nation because it still has lawyers involved in the settling of workers comp disputes. Most states use an administrative board. Williamson's amendment was a step in the right direction for Oklahoma, but Askins just showed she would rather toe the party line than move the state forward. Askins will likely run for Governor in 2010 and it's important that Oklahomans remember votes like these when making their decision on who we want to lead the state- a "vote the party line" hack or someone that has the courage to stand up to special interests.

Monday, April 14, 2008

by Steve Fair
On April 6th in San Francisco, Senator Barick Obama the presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate said at a fundraiser, “you go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years. … And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Obama has since apologized for impugning small town America by saying, “I regret some of the words I chose, partly because the way that these remarks have been interpreted have offended some people and partly because they have served as one more distraction from the critical debate that we must have in this election season.”

Eager to take advantage of any slip up by Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton went on the attack, saying Obama’s statements about small town, rural America were elitist and condescending. She said Obama was out of touch with small town America. To emphasize her small-townness, Hillary even went so far as to describe how her grandfather taught her to shoot a gun behind a cabin in rural Pennsylvania. That lesson in gun safety and self-defense was conducted when Clinton was a child; years before Hillary learned guns were evil and had no use in the hands of private citizens.

Clinton’s record on guns is consistently bad. According to Gun Owners of America, ‘"there is really little point in detailing Clinton's vote-by-vote record on the Second Amendment.” “That's because every single time there has been a gun-related vote in the Senate that GOA has tracked, Sen. Clinton has voted anti-gun.” “ Without fail, she opts to restrict the rights of Americans to keep and bear firearms -- 100% of the time.”

Hoping to seize on the opportunity of another Clinton “inconsistency, “ Obama’s counter was quick. He said that Clinton was trying to portray herself as “a defender of the Second Amendment, an Annie Oakley, sitting in a duck blind and carrying a six shooter.”

There are at least two problems with the Democratic candidates talking about the 2nd amendment. First, the second amendment isn’t just about hunting. That’s what some Americans think it’s about, but the original intent and purpose of the Second Amendment was to preserve and guarantee, not grant, the pre-existing right of individuals to keep and bear arms. Although the second amendment emphasizes the need for a militia, membership in any militia, let alone a well-regulated one, was not intended to serve as a prerequisite for exercising the right to keep arms.

And secondly, both Obama and Clinton have an “F” rating from the Gun Owners of America based on their voting records in the Senate. That proves neither understand, respect or believe in the second amendment.

While no substantial polling has reflected the impact of Obama’s slam of small town America, Hillary did manage to gain one delegate as a result Barrack’s misstep. Yellowstone County, Montana, Commissioner Bill Kennedy said Obama’s remarks demonstrate he doesn’t “get” rural America. “In Montana, going to church or going hunting is part of our heritage, not something we ‘cling to’ out of bitterness or frustration,” Kennedy said in a statement released by the Clinton campaign. “Sen. Obama showed a real disconnect with rural Montana. It might work to look down on us from San Francisco, but it won’t sell when he comes back to Montana.” Well said Mr. Kennedy, but be careful- you’re getting dangerously close to talking like a Republican. In small town America, Democrats go to church, have guns, and the only bitterness and frustration they have is with their national political leaders.

For those who don’t know, Annie Oakley was a markswoman known for making spectacular trick shots. Oakley, who died in 1926, was a devout Quaker who had learned the skill of marksmanship by necessity. After Annie’s father died, she had to help out on the family farm by shooting small game to provide food for the family. Annie toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show for seventeen years. Oakley was a true American patriot. In a letter written in 1877 to then President William McKinley, Oakley offers the services of a company of fifty lady American sharpshooters that would provide their own arms and ammunition to the government should war break out with Spain. Oakley realized that freedom wasn’t free and she was willing to sacrifice to preserve that freedom. Her letter to McKinley is housed in the National Archives of the United States.

Obama is right when he says Hillary is not Annie Oakley. Unlike Hillary or Obama, Annie Oakley never ambushed or bushwhacked anyone. Annie Oakley never lied about running to escape sniper fire. Annie Oakley didn't make shady real estate deals with crooks. Annie Oakley was humble and unselfish. She helped her family, friends and the downtrodden. Annie Oakley wasn’t an elitist. Annie Oakley was a Republican.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pro-choicers not happy!

Today the Oklahoma State Senate passed SB 1878 authored by Senator Todd Lamb(the former Secret Service Agent, not the race car driver), R-Edmond, and Rep. Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa. It passed the Senate 38-10 with a bipartisan vote. The bill contains several pro-life initiatives. By combining various pieces of legislation from Lamb and members of the House, the bill now creates the Freedom of Conscience Act which protects the rights of healthcare providers to refuse to take part in the destruction of human life.

The bill will also regulate the use of the dangerous chemical pill RU-486 after the 10th week of pregnacy. It will ensure the mother’s consent to abort is truly voluntary, and protects against coerced abortions. It will also provide a woman with an ultrasound of her unborn child which she can view prior to undergoing the abortion. And finally, SB 1878 encourages anenviroment that cultivates respect for disabled children by banning the wrongful-life lawsuits that claim a baby would have been better off aborted. I applaud the provision, but without meaningful tort reform, this tenet has little or no teeth.

“The provisions spelled out in this legislation are critical pro-life advances,” said Lamb, a first term Senator from Edmond. “Working with pro-life members of the House and Senate to protect the sanctity of life and develop this comprehensive bill has been an honor. I am encouraged by the bipartisan support to protect innocent life today in the Senate.”

The next stop for the measure is Governor Henry's office for his action. It remains to be seem if Blackjack Henry will sign the bill.

The Pro-Choice crowd in Oklahoma are "too mad to cuss". You can check out their liberal tripe at

All 52 members honored are "R"s- No "D"s make the list!

National Taxpayers Union


both Oklahoma Senators!

Both of Oklahoma's U.S. Senators- Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn have received the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) ( Their continued efforts to protect and support the taxpayers of Oklahoma and the nation resulted in the award. At a time when Congress’s fiscal ratings dropped close to an all-time low, Inhofe and Cobrun were two of only 52 members in both the House and the Senate to receive the NTU’s "Taxpayers’ Friend Award” this year. Both of Oklahoma's Senators were ranked in the top 10- Tom Coburn(89%) was 2nd and Inhofe(83%) was 8th. Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina was the most conservative fiscal Senator according to the NTU with a rating of 93%. Congressman Jeff Flake from Arizona was the most fiscal conservative in the House with a 96% rating.

None of Oklahoma's US House delegation received the award this year- overall rating for the state delegation was 65%( see chart above). The award required the member to vote with the NTU 85% of the time on bills before the US House. A total of only 42 members of the U.S. House were recognized by the NTU this year. You can check out the ratings at


Since it was founded over 35 years ago, the National Taxpayers Union's Number One job has been helping to protect every single American's right to keep what they've earned. Our guiding principle has always been: "This is your money and the government should return it to you." We are a nonprofit, non-partisan citizen group whose members work every day for lower taxes and smaller government at all levels.

Times Magazine article featuring Tom Cole

A Case of the Blues
by Benjamin Wallace-Wells

Mar 30, 2008 New York Times

The Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole is 58 years old, but he has never been famous before, and after this year, he will most likely never be famous again. Even this kind of fame, brief and slight, is uncomfortable on him. Cole is a party man, a lifelong Republican consultant, campaign worker and politician whose career, like that of a typical European Social Democrat, has recognized only a fluid and fungible line between political operative and elected official. It sometimes seems an accident he's in Congress at all. He is tall and slightly formal, and slightly awkward; people who meet him casually describe him as cordial or gentlemanly. The Republican Party, in its current uncertainty, might have chosen an ideologue to fill Cole's post or, as is its habit, a money man. Its choice of Cole, an operative, was the establishment insisting that its own learned habits were enough to save itself. "Right now, with where we are," Ken Mehlman, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, told me, "Tom Cole is the perfect leader." Read the entire story at the link:

M I L E S T O N E S !
by Kyle Heying
Kyle Heying is a Senior majoring in Political Science at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. Kyle is working his way through college preparing tax returns and working at Dillards Department store. Heying is a political activist and has volunteered with both party and candidates throughout the state. He currently serves as the Comanche County Republican Party 4th District Committeeman and has interned at the Oklahoma State legislature. Kyle can be reached by email at
Our soldiers are being used as a political milestone in the national and international media and by various dissidents who are against the conflict in Iraq, as a political statement, to come up with some sort of reason to further their aims at showing that the conflict is futile or that it is flawed and is creating situations ’dangerous’ for our soldiers. Take note, the soldiers I have spoken to, including those at Cameron, and those I have done taxes for, and those in the Republican Party, and various other organizations, already know that war is to be dangerous, that war is to be horrible, of course there are myriad differences between the one at home as a civilian, and the military service personnel overseas active either in a conflict or a peacekeeping mission elsewhere. Thus differences exist in various job fields when considering what a dangerous situation is. Those who have served in Iraq and elsewhere in conflicts American military personnel have served, whether they support or supported that conflict or not, realize the fact that war is not a simple matter and that it is a most dangerous business in the course of human affairs. However, I am getting off topic with that line of thought.

Every conflict a nation on this planet, has ever been in, is essential in one way or another, and in many cases, several ways, to that nation. Let it be economic, security related (could include military, economic, and governmental concerns), physical political boundaries, ethnic, religious, or societal causes that give rise to the conflict. In the case of the first conflict between the United States of America and Iraq, the U.S. had in its mind, the maintenance of the sovereignty of Kuwait and various other Middle East nations in mind, along with economic concerns of the flow of petroleum from within the Middle East, of which a disruption is not desired in the least. It must be remembered that although many will spout off about ’unjust’ or ’just’ wars, war is war, conflict is conflict, one human stabbing or shooting another with a firearm is an act of violence, physical violence at that. To try and say that it is, in any case unjust, is to enter into a la-la-land in which people will be quick to say "hey that war is unjust!" and then spout off their favorite reason for that being. I will then instantly give myself to the presumption that they then forget that there will always be an equal quantity of people willing to stand up and say "hey that war is just!" and then spout off their favorite reason for that being. It could be said that it is similar to a notion that there is a wrong and a right to everything in this universe, just as the only true constant in this universe is change. The actions of the United States and Saddam Hussein from 1992 to 2003 exhibit the second series in the conflict, what with Saddam gassing his own people, promoting the use of torture chambers for political rivals and their supporters, etc etc etc, along with the U.S. keeping a small amount of control over them through the North and South No-Fly Zones. Various economic devices were also used against Iraq during that time period. And now, we have had the third conflict with Iraq, which ended with the capture of Saddam.

Currently we are in action against terrorist forces, an army of warriors not of a one single nation or alliance of nations, but of various peoples acting on a perverted religious faith in order to accomplish religious, political, societal, and economic objectives. This is an army of terrorists we are facing, and we are facing them in an urban environment, take note that urban warfare is the way to the future for humanity; most of humanity now resides within cities. Next, once upon a time and for those of you who forget what resides within human history, for the largest amount of time in human affairs, close in, hand to hand combat was the mainstay for conflict between humans. Only with the advancement of technology with the musket, and then the rocket, and then the rifle, and then various other advances, did we reach a point in which you did not have to reach out and touch the enemy you are to kill or maim. However, my dear citizens of Earth, you poor fools are in for a rude awakening if you haven’t already awakened. Humanity is beginning an evolution yet again in human conflict in terms of physical violence. Once again we are seeing the need and the inevitability of close in, hand to hand combat. Iraq is just one current example. Hamburg, Germany; Waco, Texas; Mogadishu, Somalia; London, England; Baghdad, Iraq; Kirkuk, Iraq, Basra, Iraq; Beirut, Lebanon. Urban warfare, street to street, house to house, room to room, the grenade, the firearm, the knife, chemicals, dangerous indeed. However, it must also be remembered that the course of human events will take us deeper and deeper into this new trend of developments in warfare. Thus there is no escaping it, if anything, embrace it before it embraces you and turns you into a cynic and fearful little creature afraid of what might be in the next room.

Objectives and causes in urban warfare, something to be explored yes? Well then what of the securing of industry and business? The securing of adequate living quarters? Food sources? Political centers of power? The transportation methods, centers, and routes? Distribution centers of both raw and refined resources? Centers of societal power? The preservation of utilities and construction equipment and personnel? There are hundreds more we could come up with, granted all must be flushed out and expanded upon eventually, but those are essays for another day.

Effects of urban warfare? Effects considered either positive or negative depending on the point of view of the person presenting them? The consideration of effects normally considered negative by either spectators, combatants on both sides, and civilian populations: The loss of physical resources? The loss of human resources (civilian)? The loss of human resources (governmental, military, nongovernmental)? The destruction of facilities necessary to provide for human survival in an urban environment? The mental effects on spectators, civilians, and combatants? The societal effects that come with the loss of wealth? The possible loss of the family unit’s living quarters? The possible loss of the human being’s job market? There are multiple positive effects, normally they exist for the combatant force that will exist as the victor, or even for a civilian population previously besieged or held powerless in the face of an authoritarian regime. Positive effects could include as many possibilities as that of negative effects of urban warfare: The acquisition of resources for human subsistence? The effect on the morale of the civilian population of the victorious combatant? The effect on the moral superiority of the victorious combatant? The securing of industrial or even financial centers to further national aims? The destruction of enemy combatants? Objectives realized are also possible effects of combat in urban environments, on a positive note. Furthermore, that is to take into consideration primarily the point of view of the combatant that is successful in the face of the other combatant or combatants.

Objectives and effects of urban warfare realized and understood? The fact that objectives will change with the occurrence of any conflict must be understood. One nation may begin a conflict under several different causes, one may be to discover used or unused Weapons of Mass Destruction, another may be to uncover mass graves of thousands of citizens murdered by the secret police of their own governmental leaders, the search for missing combatants, the securing of raw resources within a given geographical or geo-political region, the creation of a center of gravity to eliminate thousands more enemy combatants who have come forth from a perverted form of an internationally recognized religion, the creation of a political state stable to a degree of either an authoritarian, democratic, or even utilitarian political system, and the list grows longer and longer with more and more objectives being added or discarded as the conflict begins, continues, and eventually ends or metamorphoses into another form of conflict. The Iraq War of 2003 to 2004 and then its transformation into the Iraq Campaign of the Global War on Terror from 2004 onward to this very day March 24, 2008, displays the very fact that objectives, and effects, will inevitably change in conflicts between human beings.

"Most Americans are used to being at war with a single enemy or single country. But this war is different because this time we are at war with an ideology."
-- Tampa, Florida. Mayor Pam Iorio. February 26, 2008.

Time to wake up America! In this conflict there will be no grand surrender ceremony of the enemy! Only multiple milestones, both good and bad, of all kinds to take into consideration in this conflict, this first major conflict of the twenty-first century, a conflict of a kind that has not been fully encountered since before the American Revolution! The milestones must always be taken into consideration hand in hand with each other, never to be singled out individually when they are first broached! It must be understood that we will lose many more family, friends, coworkers, classmates, and others in this conflict. Furthermore, that the loss of others, must never be looked upon as a singular milestone in this conflict, and it must be realized that in reality. The reality we live in, in which life is precious and that yes it will not last forever, that meanwhile there is no more greater need for tribute to life and life that has passed on, than there is for recognition of it and its existence, for if that were to be; then we have already lost the conflict if set off upon that conflict recognizing only one objective out of many others. The United States of America has lost to date four thousand of its men and women serving in military functions in Iraq. They lost their lives to accidents, conflicts with our enemy the terrorists and insurgents existing in Iraq, and multiple other unfortunate events. Their loss is never to be taken lightly! Never to be used as a political statement to say "Ha! There you see we are losing lives! Thus we are in effect losing the conflict!" Yet they still use it thus!
However, those who utilize it for political gain may very well reach out to backhand the other side which will state that their deaths are important to the furthering of freedom in this world, and that their deaths were not in vain in any way possible. That they will be remembered, in our actions from this point on. Each man and women lost is a family member or friend to another person. They must not be forgotten nor should their names and humanity be used in vain attempts to throw their sacrifices off as vain and not worthwhile. Furthermore; they were there, and many of us were not. To state that what they died for in Iraq is nothing more than a flawed conflict, or a failed policy in international affairs, or any one of the other reasons various humans will come up with to describe their displeasure with the United States’ attempts at rescuing other nations and societies from religious mysticism and authoritarian tyranny is to dishonor the loss of their precious lives to the cause of freedom in this world. A cause which many around the world believe should exist only when they feel it’s painless or profitable for them. They appear perplexed and displeased when those of us, and many others who come forward willing to act to further freedom in this world. Let it be through the pen, the keyboard, the firearm, a knife, or the use of voice. Let it be known further that each fallen in the vast effort, spanning time and distance, to further freedom in all its expansive functions, to protect their families, friends, and others at home; did so not in vain!
Let it be known that these four thousand soldiers lived and died, and yet while we may discuss forever the worth of their sacrifices, the worth of serving one’s country in this function, the worth of taking up the fight any where in the world for freedom; they have already laid down their lives before we take any of this into consideration. I know myself, I know what I believe firmly in, I know many oppose it, and would wish to somehow discuss it with me to encourage thinking of another light, I do not play to their tricks. It must be remembered what these soldiers died for, it must be spoken of from one person to another, that they did not just live and die defending and protecting us abroad, but that they did so for the multitudes of humans who believe in the pursuit of freedom in this world and the efforts of our country and others to bring this to the world whether some want it or not!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Senator Inhofe spoke to a group of Vets today in Washington. Below is his blog entry after he addressed the group. For more information, go to

Today I had the honor of speaking before a crowd of over 400 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. I was proud to join my Republican colleagues, Senator Joe Lieberman, and our Republican Presidential nominee, Senator John McCain. This afternoon, I will have the privilege of meeting with Oklahoma members of Vets for Freedom to discuss veterans' needs and the overall War on Terror.

The Veterans gathered in Washington as part of the Vets for Freedom tour were promoting the successes we have had in the Global War on Terror. It was a great moment and stood in stark contrast to the "retreat to defeat" rhetoric of the radical left.

Veterans throughout the history of our armed conflicts, including those who have recently served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have dedicated their lives to the service of our country and deserve the support and gratitude of all Americans. It is an honor to represent these men and women who exemplify the meanings of duty, integrity, selflessness, sacrifice, honor and patriotism.

Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, children and grandchildren have given their all to ensure a secure and promising future not only for Iraqis and Afghans, but our nation and the world. These heroes will always be in my thoughts and prayers, and generations of Americans owe them a debt of gratitude. These veterans have played an important role in liberating Iraq from a tyrannical leader, eliminating a safe haven for terrorists and their training camps, and helping the Iraqi people create a free and democratic country.

I encourage you to share your thoughts as well. Please thank Veterans nationwide and honor their service.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Mike McCarville is reporting that a story in the Tulsa World indicates that former Oklahoma Governor David Walters is the principal chair of the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Convention. Walters, who is a friend of the Clintons, and rules shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence. Rules?? Rules??? We don't need no stinkin' Rules! Read the entire story at the link below:
Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will address the Oklahoma legislature at 2pm on Wednesday April 9th. Newt Gingrich is well-known as the architect of the Contract with America that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House for the first time in forty years. Gingrich is a brilliant analyst of the political climate, but when it comes to governing or getting alone with people, he is sadly lacking. His E.I.- Emotional Intelligence Quotient- is sorely lacking. Emotional Intelligence describes an ability, capacity, or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups. It is a relatively new area of psychological research. In other words- how you get along with people. His people skills are sorely lacking, but Newt is a great speaker, so you don't want to miss it- 2pm Wednesday- House Chambers- State Capital.
Fair rates the VP Candidates!
by Steve Fair

Who should John McCain pick as his running mate? That question has the political pundits guessing. The Senator has said that he has complied a list of potential VP running mates. McCain said picking a running mate was an especially big decision because of his age. But while age may be one of the considerations, the four “C”s will ultimately guide the VP selection process- Competence, Chemistry, Credibility, and Compatibility. Who is being considered? No one but McCain knows for sure, but here are some that should be on the list.

Former Massachusetts Governor Willard- “Mitt”- Romney, 61, has met with McCain and they appear to have a civil relationship, but the chemistry is not right for Romney to be the VP. When Romney dropped out of the race, neither McCain nor Huckabee called him. The other presidential candidates did not like him, but Romney would be a good choice. Romney fulfills two of the four "C"s- Competence and Creditability.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, 52, and McCain get along well, but they attract polar opposite groups. McCain is a “Rockefeller” Republican, Huckabee, a “Right Wing” Republican. While they might forge an alliance, its unlikely McCain will pick someone that has as little foreign policy experience as Huckabee. Huckabee fulfills three of the four "C"s, but lacks in the competence area.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist, 49, heads up a battleground state, but recent polling has McCain doing well in Florida. Crist is the state’s former AG and a bachelor who stuck up for former Congressman Mark Foley when he got in trouble for sending explicit text messages to male interns. There are continuing rumors Crist is gay, which wouldn’t help McCain with the conservative wing of the GOP. Crist gets a goose egg in all four "C"s.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, 47, is a true fiscal conservative and an environmentalist, at least relative to other Republicans. He’s an Eagle Scout, has served in Congress and is in his second term as governor. Sanford voted with Congressman Ron Paul many times on fiscal issues with their two votes being the only “No” votes. In 2000, Sanford endorsed McCain over George W. Bush in the primary, but this year, he withheld his support until after the South Carolina primary. The word is the chemistry is not good between McCain and Sanford over that issue, but that could be overcome. Sanford fulfills all four "C"s.

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, 66, and one of only two Independents in the Senate has endorsed McCain. Liberman and McCain are very good friends and Joe has the experience of running for VP- he was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000 when they barely lost. The Democratic establishment abandoned Liberman in his re-election campaign and he lost his party’s nomination. However he recovered and was re-elected as an Independent. It’s unlikely Lieberman would be the choice, but who knows- McCain is a maverick. Lieberman fulfills three of the four "C"s- he lacks creditability with the Republican base.

Former Ohio Congressman Rob Portman, 53, has an impressive resume. He has served as Director of the Office for Management and Budget; He was the US Trade Representative, and a member of Congress for six terms. He is very close to George W. Bush and McCain. He has a bright political future, whether it is as VP or Governor of Ohio. Ohio is a battleground state and Portman could deliver the state’s electoral votes. Portman fulfills all four of the "C"s.

Tim Pawlenty, 48, is the Governor of Minnesota. Pawlenty is the chairman of the National Governors Association. Pawlenty has been called the most conservative Minnesota governor since the 1920s. He’s a Christian conservative and has been a team player. When VP Dick Cheney asked him to step aside in a primary against Norm Coleman for the US Senate he complied. His relationship with McCain is shallow at best, so he’s not a strong possibility. Pawlenty is much like Huckabee without the chemistry- he gets two on the four "C"s scale.

There are a number of others on “the list” according to the Internet. They include Condolezza Rice, 54, who is the first African- American women to serve as Secretary of State(3 of 4), Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, 44, who was the youngest governor in Alaska history. Palin is a strong pro-life proponent and could excite the base(2 of 4). Another name that has surfaced has been Texas U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, 65, who is close to McCain and would fulfill the four “C”s requirement quite well.

Others mentioned are former U.S. Senators George Allen, 56, (3 of 4)and Rick Santorum, 50, (3 of 4) current U.S. Senators Sam Brownback, 52, (3 of 4)and Oklahoma’s own Tom Coburn, 60 (4 of 4).

Former Oklahoma 4th district Congressman J.C. Watts’ has also been mentioned. In fact, fellow blogger Matt Pruitt has endorsed Watts, 50(4 of 4). Pruitt said, “I believe Watts has the ability to make a difference in the outcome of a national election, by just a hair.” If recent history is any indication the November election will be close and choosing Watts as the running mate in order to win is as good a reason as any. J.C. could energize the base and that is absolutely necessary for McCain to be elected.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fellow blogger Mike McCarville ( that I include a mention on the blog of this worthwhile project being conducted by some dedicated people. I am happy to do so and I would encourage you to participate in the project. Steve
Oklahoma City's "Hugs Project," which helps our men and women in uniform, has a special request we're being asked to help fill. An email from The Hugs Project founder Karen Stark relates this: "We have recently been contacted by a young Army LT from Yukon. He and about 80 other Americans are stationed in Basrah, IRAQ where some of the worst fighting is taking place right now. They're asking for our help!!! They're stationed on a non-American base and supplies are difficult for them to obtain. I've promised Jay that we can and will help. I've gotten permission from our board to take care of their needs even if it means sending more than our allocated 25-30 care packages for the week. It's going to mean more money to go shopping too but this unit MUST resoundingly hear from us that WE CARE."

The Hugs Project began as a way to get neck coolers to the troops and has expanded as other needs were discovered. Volunteers make the coolers which are then shipped for distribution.
The most pressing need now appears to be money to purchase the personal comfort items the troops need, and to ship the boxes to them. "We are now sending a larger sized box that costs us $2 more for postage" the advisory notes. "That means that each and every week, we are spending $330 for postage or more than $1,300 each month...if you can donate money that would be a HUGe help. The mailing address is The Hugs Project, PO Box 6761, Edmond, OK 73083."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

by Steve Fair

There are two undeniable stables of truth in Oklahoma politics. The first is that Democrats NEVER do anything unless it's "for the children." The second is that Oklahoma public education and higher education NEVER have enough money. State school superintendents from across the state were at the State Capitol today to whine and cry about the lack of funding for public education. Oklahoma state law requires the legislature to pass an educational budget before April 1st. It was NEVER done when the Dems were in power and the Republicans haven't gotten it done by that date either.

Democrats are such hypocrites. For example, State Representative Jerry McPeak, D-Warner said, “I’m deeply disappointed and frustrated that we continue to shortchange the children of our state.” “This is the fourth year in a row under Republican leadership that the House has failed to send an education budget to the Governor’s desk. It is time they start to take some responsibility for their actions.” No surprise- McPeak is a retired teacher who is enhancing his retirement "serving" the people- aka his buddies at the OEA.

Republicans have been in control of ONE chamber of the State legislature for four years, but all of a sudden the GOP is to blame for Oklahoma ranking 47th in the country in teacher pay? Since Republicans gained control of the House in 2004, they have been funded education and infrastructure at a much higher rate than Democrats did in their 90 plus year "reign of terror." What hypocrisy! Instead of cursing the darkness, the superintendents and Democrats- one and the same- should light a candle. Here are some suggestions for fixing our broken public school funding system:

Candle 1: Appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission structured like BRAC to consider school consolidation in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has more school districts than Texas- more than Florida. Each of those schools have infrastructure, administration, teachers, buildings, etc. Millions could be saved by closing some of the smaller schools. The Commission would evaluate the districts based on performance, geographics and other predetermined criteria.

Candle 2: Support an Administrator sharing bill. There have been a number of proposals over the years that would have allowed school district to share administrators. However no superintendent or administrator wants to talk about duplication of jobs within their "industry." With the advent of the automobile and the digital computer, one administrator should be able to manage/lead more than one school district. It's happening in the private sector and it appears to be working, so why can't it be effective in school districts?

Candle 3: Get creative where you are. Instead of whining because you don't have the money, superintendents should develop a plan to use the money they have effectively. If these superintendents would spend more of their time listening to their subordinates and patrons instead of calling legislators asking for more money, they might find out there is waste and inefficiency within their own house.

If we gave education EVERY penny of the Oklahoma state budget, they would want more. And the result? Lower test scores and lower classroom teacher pay vs. the rest of the country and region. The problem is we are treating the symptoms instead of the disease. Until we get serious in Oklahoma about revamping our public education system, we are doomed to go through this same song and dance every legislative session.
Saturday May 31, 2008
Stephens County Fairgrounds
Cost: $20
includes t-shirt & box lunch
Campaigning 101 where NOTHING is taken for granted. This three break-out session event will teach the basics to those who want to learn how to work on a campaign. If you are a candidate or a county GOP leader, bring your volunteers to this unique event to build teamwork and network with those who have been successful in past campaigns. High energy, high tech and interactive, this event will be one that will help county GOP organizations get volunteers to the next level. Email Steve Fair at to register or for more information.

McDermott to pay Boehner $1 million in legal fees
By Walter Alarkon
A federal judge has ruled that Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) can collect more than $1 million in legal fees in a lawsuit against Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) over a taped phone call, the Associated Press reports.
Boehner had sued McDermott for leaking a tape of a 1996 call featuring Republican congressmen discussing an ethics case against then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). Read the entire story at:
IS HB 2513 DEAD?
by Steve Fair

"We want to be sensitive to Oklahoman's second amendment rights, but we've got to be practical."
~Oklahoma State Senator Mike Morgan- D-Stillwater

Senator Morgan's statement above reveal the 2nd amendment was considered by the Senate leadership in this situation. Unfortunately, it was weighed in the balances and found wanting.
~Steve Fair

On the front page of today's Oklahoman an article states the campus handgun bill- HB 2513- is dead! The reason? Because the Republican? Co-Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee said that he and his Democratic co-chair- "Didn't want the bill heard." There are some valid reasons conservative Oklahomans should be concerned the way this bill was killed:
  • This decision was not made by the legislators, but by higher education administrators!

While college administrators have the right to express their opinion on issues that impact their area of expertise, legislators should weigh the facts based on the common good and make a "fact based" decision. In this case, that was not done. There are no facts that support that arming off duty police officers and military personnel who are CLEET certified will make colleges less safe. In fact, statistics indicate otherwise. For legislators on both sides of the aisle to cave to the pressure brought to bear by the administrators reveals a lack of courage and unwillingness to stand up for the average Oklahoman.

  • Our U.S. Constitutional rights were violated by this decision!

The 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. According to The Oklahoman, fourteen college Presidents and other assorted anti-gun folks were at the state Capitol to voice their concerns about HB 2513. Some of the things said were distortions and outright lies. Consider the following. State Senator Johnny Crutchfield, D-Ardmore who is a lifelong member of the NRA (He should be kicked out of the organization) said, "I am not particularly fond of the bill that lets half a classroom of kids have a gun." Two things wrong with that statement- First, 50% of the population are not CLEET certified- less than one percent of the population of the state has a conceal and carry permit. CLEET certified individuals are far less. Crutchfield's statement is ignorant and untrue. Second, what happened to the right to defend ourselves? In this country, we should have the right to defend ourselves against the bad guys. This bill only provides safety and would arm ONLY those who are CLEET certified. In reality, every student has a right to be safe in the college classroom and this bill would enhance safety by allowing trained individuals to be armed- not half the class, but only those who are TRAINED. Crutchfield should resign from the NRA and publicly denounce any of their tenets. His statement reflect no respect for the 2nd amendment. Crutchfield is in his final term and will not have to face voters again which could account for his lack of concern for what the people in his district think. The decision to not have this bill heard on the floor was made by the higher education lobby which means we have legislators who are more interested in pleasing bureaucrats than constituents. That should greatly concern the average Oklahoman. If your legislator is not representing your values, get rid of them- no matter what their party affiliation may be.

  • Republicans are not universally conservative!

The core of what conservative Republicans believe includes the 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Oklahoma Republicans include belief in the 2nd amendment in their party platform. Republican candidates for office ,at every level, state their undying support of the second amendment at every opportunity. But as evidenced by the actions of State Senate Co-Chair Mike Johnson- R, Kingfisher, all Republicans are not conservative. Crutchfields actions are somewhat understandable, but Johnson's are puzzling at best. Of course, Johnson was elected to his final term in 2006, so he like Crutchfield, doesn't have to face the voters in his district again. That may account for his lack of iron rail up the shirt tail and his lack of willingness to stand for traditional Republican principles. An elected official's true character becomes evident when they become a lame duck. That's when they can reveal their true values, convictions and character. Johnson's lack of willingness to stand up for Republican principles shows who he really is- someone who is unwillingness to take on the higher education lobby and doesn't believe in a person's right to defend themselves. Johnson should resign from the Republican party, like Crutchfield from the NRA. Their actions don't square with the philosophy of who they are affiliated with.

This decision to not hear the bill on the floor should be revisited if the legislature is truly interested in protecting students. The Senate leadership's unwillingness to put it to a vote on the floor reveals they are unwilling to take a stand on the issue. Seventy five percent of Oklahomans are strong 2nd amendment supporters- that includes Democrat and Republican voters- and no Senator wants to go into an election with a Nay vote on a gun issue hanging over his head. That would be hard to explain back in the district, so Crutchfield and Johnson (sounds like a comedy team) made it easy for their fellow Senators- they killed it in committee.

Oh for the day, when we have some Tom Coburns in the Oklahoma Senate who could care less if they are re-elected and base their decisions on sound judgement, the law and the common good of the people. Thank God for term limits- there may be some hope in the future!